Rich Koslowski: Writer, Artist, Genius
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WHEW!!!

Whew! Is right, true believers! I have been neglectful of this here blog but for good reason! Aside from hitting every mother-lovin' con there was this summer/fall, I also spent a week in LA LA Land pitching The 3 Geeks to several studios and then came back home for a day to work on Archie deadlines before turning around and heading right back to LA LA Land for a trip to Disney with the girls! Busy busy busy. Couple that with some absolutely hellacious Archie deadlines and I haven't had much time to breathe let alone blog.

But here I am again...all for you.

So, some highlights (or lowlights as it were) of the time between my last two blogs...

Conventions! Been to a ton. Some good, some great, some awful! Baltimore and APE were great! The others fell somewhere between good and awful.

Brett Favre! Ha ha ha ha...OH MY GOD! I was in NY when the news hit of the Sexting. Truly entertaining stuff. He returned for one more shot at the Superbowl glory--to go out on top!--I think it's going to be about as rock-bottom as it gets for good old Brett, folks. And that's aside from the fact that the Vikings are imploding again(and Favre. AGAIN!)!!! More hilarity. Take that Vikings (and my brother Paul)! Good thing they picked up Randy Moss so they could put that final piece in the Superbowl puzzle!...Oh wait, they what?...They cut him after only having him there for three games??? What?!! That's outrageous. (soft giggles inserted here as I get all facetious).

When will Deanna Favre have had enough? Of course she's known of his shenanigans since they were dating in high school so I guess she's getting what she deserves.

MEGAMIND 3D. Go see it folks. It's another great effort from the fine folks over at Dreamworks. Visually amazing, funny, great story! Stella and I were fortunate enough to be invited to the San Francisco premiere during the APE con and had the time of our life. After the movie it was dinner and drinks at the city hall and MAN was that a treat! Food as far as the eye could see, 10 open bars and the most beautiful setting I've ever attended for any event! Whenever I have a movie made from one of my books I'm going to have to insist on that venue for the premiere!!! Actually Stella's already insisting...I'm afraid anything less will be a complete letdown for her.

What else, what else?....

Oh yes. I am finally rolling on my next graphic novel (series?). Can't say too much on it right now but I should be making an announcement sometime after the new Year. Oh, and it's going to be amazing, of course.

Also! Stella Koslowski took First Place in the Bookshop Santa Cruz Young Writers Contest last month! There were approximately 100 entries in her age group and she took top honors for her story "The Happy Times Mouse." The tears were a rollin' when I got that phone call, folks. So she won a 4^0 gift certificate and her story will be published along with all the other top winners in the other age groups and the book will be made available at the store. It will also be distributed to all the winner's school's libraries! A very cool thing indeed. I will, of course, be ordering about a thousand copies to hand out and brag on...and Stella will now have them for sale when she does signings at the conventions with me. A published author at the age of 8. Took me until I was 23 by gum!

Couldn't be prouder her.

BTW she kicked butt at APE selling sketches. She even got into the bartering and made many a sweet deal with other artists at the con. Watching her in action brought many more tears of pride to my eyes.

I guess those are the highlights since last time...BB's selling well, the book and cd set are about to ship to stores (or you can order here!), the reviews have been strong, Finders Keepers debuted to strong sales in NY at the con (also available here) and Russ is rockin' and rollin' on the marketing...And I'm enjoying the winter sunshine here in CA.

Okay, back to work on my new book! Can't wait till I have some art to show you all!

Word.

R

WORST. BURGER. EVER!

I feel that it is my responsibility to my fellow human beings to post this review. I tend to not want to say negative things as the old saying goes, "If you don't have anything nice to say..." but I seriously feel this is a public service announcement.

I had the Dairy Queen Mushroom Swiss Burger today here in Soquel, CA. It was reprehensible. DQ should be ashamed. Embarrassed for serving such an awful hamburger. This was BY FAR the worst hamburger I have ever tasted in my entire life. The second worst one was not even close and to dethrone today's atrocity would take a lot folks, lemme tell you. The bar has been set pretty darn low. DQ, if you're going to offer burgers on your menu at least make an effort. I mean, c'mon!...

Okay, so it comes out. It's flat. I mean the thing's about 1/2 of an inch thick total. I then notice a gelatanous, milky brown "substance" oozing out the sides. I peel back the top of the bun and see the 15 teeny little "mushrooms" sticking (literally) inside this apparent "gravy" that they have. I've never seen "gravy" on a mushroom swiss burger before?...What the...?! It's approximately the same consistency as that Slime we used to buy when we were kids...remember that stuff? Cool stuff but you don't want it on top of your burger, right?

So I look at my wife and she looks frightened. My daughter asks, "What's that?!" But I paid $4 for this thing so I'm putting the top of the bun back down and figuring, "Well, it might not taste as bad as it looks."

Wrong.

I take my first bite. And it requires effort. The burger patty was pretty tough folks. Having been in food service I instantly recognize the god-awful abomination that some idiot dreamed up years ago to "better serve" the customers...the "Food Warmer that lets your cooked patties that you prepared hours ago moistly swim in it's own juices for hours and still taste juicy fresh when served."

Wrong.

Those things should've been banned years ago and any respectable food joint should know better. The patty's tough, tasteless and dry. "Keeping warm" for hours--even fifteen minutes--sucks all the juices out, morons. Have you ever actually tried the damn things after they've sat in one of those abominations???

Okay, so I manage to choke down that first bite and I quickly remove the top bun again and scrape off all the gelatanous mushroom gravy concoction, add some ketchup and try bite two. Better, but not much. I'm not tasting anything remotely close to Swiss cheese...wasn't this a mushroom "Swiss" I ask myself? Peel top bun off again. The slice of swiss is translucent. I mean nearly invisible...a mere "suggestion" of a slice of cheese. Hence, the "not tasting any swiss cheese" part of my dining experience.

Okay, so now you're going to ask me "Why?" when you read this next line...I finished the whole thing.

Because I paid $4 for the damn thing and I'm not exactly swimming in money these days, all right?!

Plus, I want to see if it actually stays down. I mean, I just have to know! It was SO BAD that I want to see the full extent of its "Badness."

Oh, and the fries were pretty blah, too.

To be fair the Sprite I got from the soda dispenser was satisfactory.

Word.

R

p.s. Stella says her Hot Dog's bun had waaayyy too much butter on it, too. She chucked the bun halfway through and just ate the dog. She did like her ice cream sandwich, though.

CONGRATULATIONS VIKINGS, YOU'VE BEEN FAVRE'D!

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA....Oooohhh....let me catch my breath!...

Okay, that's better. Whoo!...So, as Brittany Spears would say, "Oops, Favre did it again!" And I only mention her because I hold them both in equal esteem. The best part is that for the past 2 years my big argument against Favre's "irreplaceability," that some Packer fans always argued (my older brother included, ad nauseam), was his always, ALWAYS "Favreing" up the game in the last seconds...always making that patented Favre interception when the team needed him most and when the team was poised, POISED to win the game! What the Favre, Favre??? And right before that last interception, when the Vikings were poised to win the game, I muttered softly--not really actually believing it possible--that "if Favre were still a Packer he'd throw an interception right now." AND THEN HE DOES!!!

What the!???...HOW THE!???...HOW--HOW IS IT EVEN POSSIBLE THAT HE CONTINUES TO DO THIS!!!??? I mean, really, you'd think the law of averages would demand that in one of these playoffs he wouldn't Favre it up like this, wouldn't you?

Unbelievable. Well, not really. But REALLY!

So yeah, I'm happy that Favre and the Vikings fell flat again. I loved Favre as a Packer even though his "reckless gunslinger" act grew very, very old (see above "Favre ups" mentioned). And we all know of his tiresome off-season acts, and that's when I became a "Favre despiser." Hey, I love a good waffle (especially with strawberries, whipped cream and warm maple syrup), but I hater a waffler.

And I hate the Vikings. And their fans. So seeing them flop after, seemingly, another brilliant run towards the Superbowl was extremely gratifying. I shudder at the thought of having had to hear them incessantly brag for the next year (or 50) about having the "perennial Packer" finally bring them to the promised land--like they all did all regular season, my older brother Paul included. Ahhh...I can already hear the beautiful silence emanating from that side of the Mighty Mississippi and it's just delightful.

Yep, you got him Vikings fans...you landed the "perrenial Packer"...the "first ballot Hall-of Famer"..the record-breaking, touchdown throwing, longest consecutive games played streak, most touchdowns, most retirements and coming out of retirements, most interceptions and the biggest Favreing choker to ever play the game!

And so, in a very petty way, I will end this blog as it began by saying, HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!

Ohhhh...so sweet.

word.

r

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Merry Christmas to all! Happy New Year to boot. And if you're not practicing Christmas happy "whatever" to you as well...and I mean that.

Pictured here is my daughter Stella's Christmas card for 2009. Entirely designed by her with just a few assists in Photoshop by pops. The star in the photo is Stella's cat, Cutie! I thought it was pretty darn clever, myself, and hope you all enjoy it.

We're going to celebrate today by going to see the new Princess & The Frog movie and then tomorrow we're going to follow up with taking Stella to see Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Squeakel! It's just the three of us now that we've moved 2,300 miles away from our families so we're going to be laid back and non-committed and just r-e-l-a-x...

It should be pretty "drama-free" this year...ahhh, serenity now.

Word!

R & S

AS A DOG!....

As in "Sick As A Dog!" folks. Been remiss in my blog duties because about 3 weeks ago I was hammered by the flu (Swine???) that lasted about 4-5 days. It was pretty severe with some of the worst chills and body aches I've ever experienced. And the flu quickly evolved into a serious case of pneumonia which I'm still battling with the aide of some antibiotics and some killer cough medicine with codeine.

So, been down-and-out for awhile now but looking forward to my recovery cuz I've got some cool things in store for 2010, the least of which the new graphic novel, BB WOLF AND THE 3 LPS which is now 99% completed and almost ready to roll.

I'll keep you posted on that. And have some kick ass pics up soon to pimp it.

A'ight, thassit for now as I feel the need to hit the couch again for, I don't know, the 1,000th time in the past 3 weeks.

Word.

r

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE REVIEW! SAVE YOUR MONEY

DO. NOT. TAKE. YOUR. KIDS!!!

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE has to be one of the biggest disappointments we've ever experienced as a family. The two 7-year-old girls we took were not only traumatized by the dismal, depressing and disturbing tone but just plain flat-out bored by the movie as a whole. And the violent climax literally brought one to tears and my daughter Stella was so shocked she jumped out of her seat. After the film was over poor Jasmine was shaking as the tears rolled down her cheeks and Stella summarized this turd of a film with this review, "The director must have had a concussion when he made this film!"

Dark not only describes the tone but the visuals as well. It was dark. The few moments they filmed in daylight were a relief to the sensations. The score was dark as well. No joy. Ominous to a fault. Every single character had a psychosis--be it manic depression, paranoia, suicidal tendencies or "Tony Soprano" like murderous rage! I guess that's why they cast James Gandolfini as Caroll. Um...this was a children's story, right? Not exaggerating, folks, there was some serious psychosis going on here and it wasn't only disturbing and depressing but it was kind of dull.

We kept waiting for the tome to lighten but it never did. Started sad, stayed ad and ended sad. Catherine Keener summed it up perfectly when the movie ended with her and Max at the dinner table silently and slowly (painfully) while Max ate his dinner--she drifted off to sleep. Yep. Felt the same way, Catherine.

We left sad. Sad that the movie stunk, sad that we traumatized two little girls and sad that we're out $50 bucks!!! I am so sick of going to "Kids movies" that reviewers often give decent reviews to and end up walking out feeling sick to my stomach because I just forked over a hefty chunk of my hard-earned money. Word to these reviewers who I feel have a responsibility to the viewers who put their trust in them...Don't give a movie a pass just because it's a "kid's film" based on a "masterpiece" directed by a "genius." All-too-often this seems to happen (anyone remember THE PIANO!??). It seems as if they convince themselves that a film like this, adapted from certain source material just "must be good!" Step back and really give an honest review and consider the people going to see it. I was pissed when I went to some review sites and read so few reviews saying that this was not appropriate for young children. We rely on your reviews for this information! Maybe some reviewers don't have kids but are they that removed from reality that they can't figure out what's inappropriate for them?

Thank you to those responsible reviewers who DID point this out. I'm just sorry I didn't find those review until AFTER we all saw this travesty.

And, no, I'm not alone. Maybe the silent majority, but NOT alone. Immediately after seeing the film I spoke with another parent who has heard of other families disappointment and cases where they actually had to leave halfway through the film.

All that being said, I love Maurice Sendak, I love Spike Jonze, we all love the book, but this movie sorely missed the mark on ALL levels.

Word.

R

Stella's added remarks:

Hi, I'm Stella, Rich's daughter. I saw a movie today with my friend Jasmine. It was called WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE. Me and my friend Jasmine thought it was the worst movie we've ever seen. Especially the part where one of the monsters ripped off one of the other monster's arm. To me and Jasmine it made Jasmine shake and cry to death and my legs started to ache! And if any of you have already seen it and like it you're crazy. But if you haven't seen it DON'T SEE IT! Bye.

BIG MOVE!!!

Hey all,

Been way too long since my last entry but I have a decent excuse...I think. After many years of debating, discussing and deliberating we have finally made the move from Wisconsin to California. Just couldn't face the thought of another dismal winter. 41 years is way to many for any human being. And so we are here now in lovely Aptos, Ca (right next to sunny Santa Cruz) and settling in quite nicely. The weather's fantastic! Mild, cool in the mornings and evenings with nice clear sunny skies throughout the mid-day.

Stella's adjusted quickly and loves her new school, making many new friends right away. This was our biggest concern with the move and we had MANY a sleepless night worrying about her acclimating. Should've known better. If there's one thing Stella's always been it's an outgoing kid who easily makes friends. Within minutes she had a couple nice friends and within days the playdates were lining up! A HUGE relief for me and Sandy. H-U-G-E.

Already been up, down and across the area and are constantly discovering wonderful new things the area provides.

This will also put me near several area comic conventions that'll be more easily traveled to. I'll be at the APE show in San Francisco Oct 17th-18th (whatever that weekend is) and plan on being a regular at WonderCon now as well.

We're also living near my friend and BB Wolf collaborator, J.D. Arnold. "Johnnie" owns a fantastic comic shop in Santa Cruz with his business partner Troy called COMICOPOLIS! And a fine shop it is! If you're ever in the area make sure to swing in.

Well, that's it for now. Am still exhausted from the big move and catching up on much-needed sleep so I'll cut this short. But I'll have some more updates sooner and more frequently. I also have some very exciting news that I've had to hold my tongue for over 3 years to share!

How's that for a teaser?

word.

r

MY LAST SOFTBALL GAME.

Well...not my last softball game forEVER! But the last one with my team here in Wisconsin that I've been a part of since 1986. A very sad thing and I was quite moved when the boys gave me a signed softball as we imbibed in malted beverages after a rousing 22-2 defeat of a team half our age! I was pleased to end with a hit my last at bat, too, and striking out the very last batter on the other team--a nice way to end it.

I'm hoping to play on an interim basis when I come back for summer visits as the team has vowed to continue in my absence. Maybe get back for 3-4 games each year.

Anyway, another sad reminder that my time here is quickly coming to an end. Three more days and we're out. The nervousness, stress, sadness, excitement, mounts...I knew it'd be like this but it's tough. Just had dinner with our dear friends Tim (Big Tim that is) and Mary Lyons at our favorite pizza/lasagna joint and it was yet another door shutting in our lives--not completely as, again, we will come back for visits, but still a door closing nonetheless and it makes us sad.

But, for Stella's sake, we only show her the happy side of everything. As a 7-year-old she can't see us getting weepy or she'll freak out. So we smile and tell her about all the great things we have to look forward to and just lie awake every night staring at the ceiling freaking out ourselves.

So, yeah, we're sad and freaking out but we know the move's for the best. Bottom line is we cannot stand the weather here and it ain't gonna change and we ain't getting any younger. Can't move when Stella's a teenager or she'll hate our guts. Gotta go now or never.

But I will miss those goons at Softball on Wednesday nights.

NO MORE WINTERS!

Yep, 41 years is enough (42 for Sandy, 7 for Stella). NO MORE FRIGGIN' WISCONSIN HELL WINTERS. As of August 10th we are officially gone and on our way to our new digs in sunny Santa Cruz, California. Aptos, CA to be specific. A beautiful, beautiful place surrounded by giant redwood trees, mountains, the ocean and the Sasquatch museum in neighboring Felton! That alone is worth moving there for.

We'll also be just a hop skip and a jump away from San Francisco, Napa Valley, Yosemite National Park, Big Sur National Park and add a few more hops, skips and jumps and we're in Tahoe or LA or San Diego.

Speaking of San Diego I guess I should give a quick Comic-Con summary. It was jam-packed again, I got too drunk every night again, did a ton of sketches, walked many miles, got extremely sore feet and saw a few celebs including Wesley Snipes who was far shorter than I'd ever have guessed. And weighed about a buck sixty-five! I could kick his ass!

Sales were definitely down for myself and those around me so people were keeping the purse strings cinched and trolling for the freebees. Let's hope the economy picks up for next year's show when the new book's out--YES BB Wolf is going to be out in 2010-Top Shelf has assured us there will be no more scheduling delays...if there are keep your eyes peeled on the obituaries for certain Georgia publishers. JK, Chris, you know I love you (just watch your back).

As I write this my back demands some medicinal supplication from me and the rest of my body demands some well-deserved sleep. My feet just flat out hate my guts--nothing I can do to placate them so I've just given up and learned to deal with their hatred for me. sigh.

So I shall take an Aleve (or Oxycodone if I want those fun dreams) and retire for the evening. The next time you hear from me the message shall be streaming from California cyberspace not Wisconsin cyberspace. So it might be more mellow, laid back, serene, and definitely drunk on some good Napa Valley wine!

Word.

R

MICHAEL JACKSON, FARRAH FAWCETT, BILLY MAYS, WHAT THE HELL!

Hey all,

Alright, I guess I'll go ahead and chime in on the death of Michael Jackson...While never a huge fan of his music I did enjoy many of his songs. Particularly the old Jackson 5 hits and more recently I thought Man In The Mirror was fantastic. And, yeah, like 20 kazillion other people I had a copy of Thriller--and I loved it.

And I did actually have a face-to-face (so to speak) with Michael Jackson once! Bizarre but true story here folks...I was at the Mall Of America up in Minnesota doing a book signing at a children's bookstore, signing copies of the "Milo" books I illustrated, when in walks this person with the surgical mask, scarf over their head and some very ornate clothing. At first I think "be discreet, it's obviously a burn victim." And then they get three feet away and we make eye contact. It's frikkin' Michael Jackson! The eyes! It's his eyes! I quickly look around the store as the possibility of it being him races through my mind at light speed! Then I see them!--The bodyguards standing at the entrance of the store and I know that I'm right! I must have reacted because he immediately recognized that I recognized and he picked up his pace, did a quick browse through the store and headed out before he thought I'd blurt out his name or something. I wouldn't have, but I'm guessing it happened to the guy a lot. So I quickly babble to my partner, Craig Ploetz, that I just saw Michael Jackson and we slyly shuffle off behind him and watch as he and his small entourage move away through the crowd.

Was kinda cool.

So when I heard that Michael died suddenly last Thursday I, like may others, was stunned. Not shocked, mind you, but stunned. I mean, honestly, did any of us expect Michael to die of old age-- a comfortable, peaceful passing at the age of 97? I don't think you'll find too many people who'll honestly say, yes to that. This is a sad, tragic, expected outcome in a very sad, tragic life.

Did I know the guy? How can I say that he was sad? I think that's a fairly obvious statement. Obviously Michael had issues. Insecurities. And I'm one of the many who doesn't buy that he molested any kids. I mean he may have, I don't know for sure, but I think he was more likely just an easy target because of his weirdness and a few greedy golddiggers went after him. Yep, he was kooky, he was a bit crazy, and he definitely made his share of mistakes--the baby dangling makes me cringe every time I see it--THAT was his coup de grace as far as the mistakes the guy made.

But he was also a genius. I think his body of work makes that statement undeniable.

Like Elvis, his death will only make him an even bigger pop icon. Bigger in death than in life. No doubt about it.

And we're only 6 days in folks...the circus surrounding his death is just getting started. Wait'll the vultures start descending on the estate. And those poor kids. Yeesh, it's going to get U-G-L-Y!!!

Farrah Fawcett's death was sadly overshadowed when MJ passed away mere hours later. Again, never a huge fan but I did watch Charlie's Angles as a young lad and every time I went to K-Mart I'd go over and flip through those posters and take a good long pause looking at that one of Farrah! Yeah...you know what I'm talking about. Shazam!

A sexy lady. No doubt. And I admire the way she held her dignity while all the tabloids and "comedians" made their insensitive comments. The lady deserved a better send off that's for sure.

Billy Mays. Sheesh. A bad week for entertainers. Poor guy apparently had heart disease. Although he was also apparently hit on the head earlier that day when a plane he was traveling on had a somewhat rough landing and one of the overhead doors struck him on the head. Don't know if that's related to his passing but don't mess around with head injuries folks. Take it from a dude who's had several concussions--go see your doctor asap.

Any time...it can grab you at any time. Death. So the lesson I take from all of this is to hug my daughter extra each day and take even more time to play with her than I usually do--and trust me, she wasn't getting cheated before. Problem is i get so verklemfpt every time something like this happens pretty soon I'm not gonna get ANY work done at all.

Eh, money or Stella time? Easy decision, folks...I guess there won't be any vultures descending on my estate.

Word.

R

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